The Houston Rockets are going to be playing without James Harden in their next game, as his kick to the groin of LeBron James resulted in a one game suspension, meaning he’ll miss one for the first time this season.
Obviously, this is a costly price to pay for the Rockets in a chippy game that was filled with hard fouls and a lot of talking and jawing off between the two teams. James himself had a moment with Patrick Beverley. The Rockets’ guard tried to take a charging foul from James and ended up getting pinned by LeBron after accidentally (???) hitting the Cavs player with his hand when trying to get up. Some argue that the incident warranted more than a technical foul to both players.
Harden didn’t think he was going to get suspended by the league when speaking to reporters after the game, but he didn’t have anything to add after news of his punishment came out. He simply joined the Harden for their tough road game in Atlanta, where he’ll obviously be missed.
Without Dwight Howard and now without James Harden, it’s hard seeing the Rockets doing anything of consequence against the best team in the Eastern conference. However, these kind of situations can bring out something special from teams that feel like no one is giving them a chance, so maybe we’re in for something special from Trevor Ariza, Terrence Jones (undefeated as a starter this season) and Josh Smith.
As for Harden? He’ll live with taking one game off. Maybe it’ll even do him some good. He proved he can go head to head with James and win, although too much is being made of the Rockets scraping by with a two point win at home against the Cavaliers, When you get to the bottom of it, the only thing that separated us from seeing the Cavaliers pull off a road win was James missing eight free throws, including two in overtime. It’s that simple.